Thursday, February 9, 2012

Plans and Schemes...

Lets keep going with gender!

Two days, two different centres that have not had a male worker before. Thirty seconds in the first, maybe a minute tops in the second one: “There's a man here” “Boys aren't allowed here” “Are you a girl?” Wow, talk about in your face. I mention the comments to a co-worker who looks surprised so I explain how as a woman she represents what is normal in the ECE environment while as a man I am 'abnormal' and thus I (we) experience the dichotomy of gender stereotypes.

I find this kind of shit fascinating :)

Another story: I was talking with a teacher about how in one day I had to face questions about whether I had a penis and attempts to touch it. She was like 'holy cow, I've never had to face such challenges that relate to sexuality or sex'. Well this is what happens to men on a daily basis. Their presence upsets/challenges what the children have learnt about adults in their world and thus they need assimilate/accommodate this 'aberration'. We are – to stray slightly into theory – new knowledge to these children.

This is big. I'd like to explore this more so will be looking out for some juicy readings on this subject. If you can recommend any then please get in touch. I also intend to gather a collection of readings that are relevant to men in early childhood – a mini library of sorts. I'll have to figure out how to best do this first :)

Could be a busy year eh? I'm still chugging away on the inner workings of co-construction so bare with me those who are following my Pikler posts – who would have thought there would be so many net searches for this knowledge? Not me, but hey I'm not complaining!


Tom Bedard said...

In my neck of the woods, there is a guy who writes a monthly newsletter about men teachers. He takes an international perspective. Here is the link:

Newsletter about men teachers


PS: I have been an ECE teacher since the 1970's and I am only reminded of my maleness when others bring it up. I have always been first and foremost an ECE teacher.

ako said...

Broken link Tom! would love to check it out.

Yes I've found that once you settle in an environment and 'normalise' your role, gender issues fade away...

Tom Bedard said...

Try this:

I agree, once I am in the environment, I am like a fish in water and space and time disappear. I am truly living in the moment because that is what the kids do by their very nature.